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Central Dauphin outlaws face paint at games

Updated: Friday, August 30 2013, 04:51 PM CDT
Reported by: Jesse Knutson

HARRISBURG -- Controversy has erupted in Dauphin County as Central Dauphin School District announced it will not allow fans to paint their faces or wear masks at sporting events.

If you go to a sporting event, whether it be a football, hockey, or soccer game, you’re bound to see screaming fans with their faces painted, but now here at Central Dauphin High School, fans won’t be allowed to paint their faces. It’s a tradition that has allowed sports fans to show their pride for decades.

That show of pride is now being outlawed by Central Dauphin School District. On the district’s website, it says that “Face painting or face masks are not permitted. Paint is only permitted on the arms, legs and shirts.”

People we spoke to couldn’t believe the rule change. “I can understand banning the masks to some extent. There are rowdy people out there that do some kind of things that are a little bit outrageous, criminal in fact, but the face painting, I can’t believe it,” Joe Knesis.

“I think that students should be able to express themselves and have school pride, and if that means they want to paint their face, I think they should be allowed to. I mean, they’ve been doing it for years, why stop now?," Courtney Kuntz asked.

Director of Public and Community relations for Central Dauphin, Shannon Leib, said, “This is a new rule for this school year to address safety and security issues at sporting events. District staff need to be able to clearly identify students. When their faces are obstructed, it is difficult to do.”

“If you put on a hunk of face paint, I can still see who you are,” Knesis said.

“I really think that’s a silly idea. My three daughters graduated from Central Dauphin High School, and so I’m really surprised that they have this as an issue. It’s just in the spirit of the football game, and I think they’re going a bit overboard,” Nancy vanblargan said.

Many believe this is a sporting tradition that should stay intact. “It’s almost like a custom, a tradition, it doesn’t seem to hurt anybody, and you can really still identify a person, even with the face painting on,” Knesis added.

Tonight is Central Dauphin High School’s first football game of the year, so the big question is what will happen if students come with their faces painted.Central Dauphin outlaws face paint at games

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